Hackney remembers Prince Philip after his passing at age 99
- Credit: PA Wire
As the country mourns Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, the Gazette remembers the times he visited and supported Hackney's young people and joined east London police to investigate a "smash-and-grab".
His Royal Highness, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, died "peacefully" this morning, on April 9 at Windsor Castle aged 99.
To mark his death flags at Hackney Town Hall are being flown today at half-mast.
The Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville and Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Kam Adams, said, in a joint statement sad that they were "deeply saddened" by the news : "The Duke came to embody endurance and stability for our country, through decades of change and stability [and] through times of peace and crisis.
"We all felt we knew Prince Philip in some way."
They continued: "That sense of familiarity and steadiness was especially important over these past 12 months, as the country continues to battle the greatest challenge of a generation. And the Duke’s death will be felt all the more keenly as a result.
“On behalf of Hackney, we send our sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal family."
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But despite advancing years and a health scare the prince is said to have kept up with youngsters from Laburnum Boat Club and Hackney Quest as a patron of London Youth charity.
The prince had been hospitalised with heart problems the previous Christmas and watched young people narrow boating, rock climbing, and pancake making at Laburnum Boat Club along the Regents Canal in Haggerston, even getting involved himself.
“The prince was very good considering his age and his recent ill health,” said director Jim Armstrong at the time.
“He was bright and energetic and really interested in what was going on.
The director added: “He even climbed into one of the narrow boats - despite the fact the lights weren’t on and the boats are hard enough to get into anyway.”
Later on in his visit the prince spoke to young Hackney people and sat down with them to a formal three-course meal.
Hackney Quest director Colette Allen said in 2012: “The prince did amazingly well for a 90-year-old man. I had a lot of admiration for him.
“He spent some time engaging with the young people, cracking jokes and making them laugh.”
More than 60 years ago, the Duke of Edinburgh paid another visit to the area joining an East End CID when they rushed to investigate a smash-and-grab
Wearing a raincoat and a hat, the royal visitor joined detectives when they realised the raid was a false alarm and someone had thrown a brick into a shop window.
“Policemen on the duty changeover parade were amazed to find the Duke at the station,” reported the Gazette in 1960.
The palace announced the death of Britain's longest-serving consort, with a statement today which read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”
He retired from public engagements in 2017 after carrying out more than 20,000 of them.
Hackney council plans to open an online Book of Condolences soon, for residents to sign.
Share your own Hackney memories of Prince Phillip in the box below.